Rugby night grabs headlines as Welsh manager reportedly set to change jobs and stars target Wales return

Your rugby headlines for the evening of Sunday April 17.

Welsh boss set for shock switch – reports

The Wales women could be set to lose their coach in a shock job change, according to reports.

According to the Mail, Wales boss Ioan Cunningham is set to quit his current job after this year’s World Cup and take charge of the Wales Under-20 team instead. The newspaper reports that Under-20 boss Byron Hayward, a former amateur boxer, plans to return to the sport as a coach instead.

READ MORE: WRU breaks silence on Six Nations flop under Pivac and its future

According to the Mail, the news means that “the progress of the Wales women since handing professional contracts to 12 players at the start of the year is likely to be affected by Cunningham’s departure”.

Exactly how that plays out remains to be seen, but Welsh Rugby Union sources on Sunday were certainly mystified by the reports. They distanced themselves from speculation when suggestions that Cunningham and Hayward might quit their posts were made to them.

The Women’s World Cup takes place in New Zealand in October and November and newly professionalized Wales are on an upward curve, having beaten Ireland and Scotland in their opening Six Nations match before losing heavily to England.

As with Wayne Pivac’s senior side, Hayward’s Welsh Under-20 side have had a hugely disappointing Six Nations campaign. They only managed a solitary victory over Scotland and finished second from bottom.

The Wales youngster scored 53 points against Ireland in their opener, were heavily beaten 43-14 by England, lost 46-15 at home to France and also lost to England. Italy in their final.

Their results, coupled with the Six Nations result for Dan Biggar and his team as well as the failures of the Welsh regions, led to calls for change amid talk of an all-out crisis in the Welsh game.

Davies hoping for Wales return

Sam Davies is still hoping for a Wales call-up under Wayne Pivac after becoming the fourth man to score 1,000 points at the United Rugby Championship.

The 28-year-old Dragons’ No.10 scored 13 points to take his tally to 1,005 in the competition in its various guises as Gwent’s side beat the Scarlets 38-27 at Llanelli.

Only Dan Biggar, Dan Parks and Ian Keatley had reached the 1,000 point mark before Davies achieved the feat. Davies played alongside Biggar at the Ospreys for a number of years and the fact that he reached the milestone is perhaps even more impressive when you consider the quality of his competition for kicking duties early in the season. his career.

But he believes the “competitive advantage” between the two has been mutually beneficial, with Biggar racking up a record 1,585 URC points before leaving for Northampton in 2018.

READ MORE: Biggar sent off and faces rugby ban

“Most of the time they accommodated me and Dan playing Dan at 10 and me at 15, which meant I wasn’t shooting, so he was scoring!” Davies told the PA news agency.

“But he was a very good kicker and he remains world class to this day, even better than he was then. It definitely pushed me. I think it pushed all of us, if i’m being honest.

“It’s good to have that competitive edge in training, especially as a youngster, and I’d like to think that pushed both of our games.”

Biggar, of course, is the occupant of the Welsh 10 shirt and picked up his 100th cap for his country at this year’s Six Nations. Davies, on the other hand, has been limited to just eight Test caps despite being a reliable performer regionally, with Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Priestland and Callum Sheedy among those ahead of him in the pecking order.

“If you read too much into it I think you can get frustrated,” said Davies, who won his eight caps in eight months from November 2016 to June 2017 when he was considered a bright young prospect for rugby. Welsh.

“I thought I played well at the start of the season and maybe there was a door in there with a lot of injured 10s, but that wasn’t the case.

“When that’s not the case, there’s nothing you can do about it but go out and try to play the best you can. Things can change quickly so I’ll always play at my best and if something happens at the back of it’s then brilliant and i can add to the eight selections i have.

“If not, it’s just about trying to give the best for the team I’m on, and that’s the Dragons.

“There are a lot of away halves in contention for Wales at the moment so unless your team is doing well as an away half I guess it will be difficult to clear you one. path in the selection talks.”

Young people frustrated as Cardiff pulls out of Europe

Cardiff boss David Young has expressed his frustration as Cardiff improved a lot against Saracens 40-33 in the European Challenge Cup Round of 16 on Sunday at the StoneX Stadium.

The defeat means Wales’ European challenge for the season ends without either region winning a single game on the pitch.

But at least Cardiff have fought back after recent embarrassments at the hands of Welsh rivals Scarlets. They were ahead in the third quarter, looking sharp on offense and tackling hard on defense.

Tomos Williams had a particularly strong game which saw him score a solo try and then set up a touchdown for Owen Lane. Rhys Carre also crossed for visitors.

But Saracens had enough to withstand Cardiff’s challenge, with Sean Maitland scoring twice and Dominic Morris, Aled Davies and man of the match Max Malins also hitting the ground.

Young said afterwards: “It was a one score game for most of the game and it was a game we could have won I think. We left some points there.

“I’m happy with today, but it leaves a bit of frustration over the situation of the last two weeks. Mark McCall told me it was a game he thought we could have won.”

Welsh boss wonders about head injuries

Dragons boss Dean Ryan has raised concerns about how head injuries in rugby are being handled after Jonathan Davies avoided a red card in Team Gwent’s win over the Scarlets.

The Wales veteran and Scarlets skipper Davies escaped with just a yellow after catching Josh Lewis with a high tackle as the full-back cleared his lines early in the game. Referee Ben Whitehouse and his fellow officials felt there was enough mitigation for Davies to avoid being sent off.

When asked if Davies got away with it, Dragons director of rugby Ryan decided to turn the matter over to game officials.

He said: “If we ask this question often enough, then maybe they could change some of the answers. Josh was absent from this incident and it’s not for me to sit here after the game and comment. We asked about two incidents last week that were missed by a TMO, a team of four officials and a citing officer.”

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel felt a yellow “was the right call. There was shoulder-to-shoulder contact.”

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